Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mrs. Malory and a Necessary End-Hazel Holt

Mrs. Malory and a Necessary End

Hazel Holt

Obsidian, Oct 2 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780451415387

Monica’s daughter Julia needs her after giving birth prematurely while moving. She asks her friend Sheila Malory to replace her three days a week over the next few weeks as a volunteer at a charity shop in Taviscombe. Initially greeted by dreadful Norma Stanley, Mrs. Malory finds the work interesting. However, she also dislikes her controlling egomaniac supervisor the unpleasant Desmond Barlow; a pain to work for as he always criticizes the staff and bullies his wife Wendy; even Norma bows to his tyranny.

Someone must have agreed with Mrs. Malory’s assessment just more sharply when the murdered corpse of Desmond is found in the shop. Inspector Bob Morris leads the inquiry while Mrs. Malory gossiping with friends and other townsfolk begins to uncover pertinent information about a man universally disliked.

The latest Mrs. Mallory English village cozy (see Mrs. Malory And Any Man’s Death) is a fascinating leisurely paced whodunit. Mrs. Malory’s guided tour of Taviscombe enables the armchair reader to see the town through her eyes. Well written and fun to read although fans will quickly boil down the killer to one of two people.

Harriet Klausner

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